Are you all ready to have some FUN? Meet Anne Verville and Kevin Kelly, partners in life and in the gym. They work hard no matter what, and they have the physique results to show for it. Oh, did we mention that they're GRANDPARENTS? Read on to find out how they make it work. Their TrueFN trainer, Dylan, and their nutrition consultant, Jenn, also share why working with Anne and Kevin is so rewarding. They make our early mornings that much brighter!
How long have you each been working with your trainer, Dylan, and your nutrition consultant, Jenn?
KK: Of course you know there is a funny story here. We used to belong to Regency Sport and Health. While we were members, Anne had some recurring back trouble so we decided that she should work with a personal trainer...that is how she met Dylan. We eventually left S&H because the costs were going up due to renovations and I wasn't using it that much. A few years later when Anne's back started to bother her again, we started to look for another personal trainer. We heard about TrueFN through a Groupon ad and Anne came in to find out about the program. While she was having a discussion with Jenn about TrueFN, Dylan walked in the office (surprise!) and based on the positive experience she had with him before, that settled things for her on the spot. TrueFN offered us the chance to work with Dylan without the gym membership.
Why did you first start working together?
KK: Anne started in early July of 2015 with both Dylan and Jenn and after poking at me about it (yes, I was reluctant), I gave in and started with Dylan in August with 1:1 training until I could get the techniques down enough to be able to work out as a couple. So, since mid-August, 2015, we have worked out as a couple with Dylan and with Jenn on nutrition. The "why" centers on the fact that I need way more structure and accountability than Anne does. Working out as a couple provides that for me.
How have your physiques, strength, and/or mindsets changed since you started?
KK: The biggest area of change has been our strength. We are setting PRs nearly every other training session with Dylan as he pushes us upward. On the topic of physiques, Anne has always been a beautifully athletic and powerful woman and the work she has done at TrueFN has only increased that. The only thing I will say about me is that I have had to buy some new shirts. From a mindset perspective, she has been a believer in this type of training and nutrition for a long time. I'm the one that was on the fence. The last seven months have been an evolution for me to understand the value of both this type of focused training and nutrition.
How many days a week do you exercise?
KK: We work out with Dylan Monday/Friday and follow his virtual coaching on Wednesday. We will be adding the Saturday virtual coaching session this week.
How do you balance your busy professional lives with staying on track working out?
KK: Great question. It's a struggle at times. She is a teacher in Arlington and I work in Baltimore, Charlottesville or Falls Church on different days. Because of that, we have to start early (6am) and then rush to get to work. The workouts have become very important to our well-being and work-life balance, but we each have it as a priority and make the schedules work.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you work during your sessions with Dylan?
KK: Do you want our opinion or Dylan's? Since Dylan's favorite comment is, "It's just 5 more pounds," we work really hard during the workouts at a 9 or 10 level. As a couple, though, we push and encourage each other. Anne was a Division I athlete and has continued to play soccer at a high level for many years...the ultimate soccer Mom. To say she is competitive is like saying it's a bit "chilly" at the North Pole. Dylan uses the competitiveness in a good way to push us forward. I have to admit, the best part of our workouts is we are doing it together. While we are competitive, having the other person there to ensure accountability (on both training and nutrition) and to celebrate the milestones is a strong driving force to success. When I'm bent over with my hands on my knees trying to catch my breath, let alone talk, getting a low "five" from her is a powerful motivator to step back up to the squat bar and get it done.
You're a team when it comes to nutrition too. How do you motivate each other to make good decisions?
KK: As the "morning person" of the team, I get the protein drink, coffee, water etc. so we can get out the door in the mornings. After that, it's about accountability. I would love to have a bag of BBQ potato chips during the day, but the problem is I would tell Anne that I did. As a mother of 4, she knows how to scare you. She says, "I'm telling Jenn!" So I have to pass on it. For dinners, with my job and the stress associated with it, I find it therapeutic to grocery shop and we keep it simple -- meat, eggs, vegetables and fruits. We work to follow the guide that Jenn gives about protein and portion sizing. Anne is part of a lunchtime salad club at work where one person brings in "salads in Mason jars" for the group each day, which provides a healthy lunch. I have access to cafeterias for lunch, but stick to the basics. I think the area where we are fall short is with water/hydration. I have it easier since I have access to water bottles. Anne is a teacher, and let's suffice it to say that being seriously hydrated for a teacher with 90 min classes is not a good thing. So we need to work on that. If we can only convince Jenn that coffee has water...
Do you feel that your commitment to fitness and eating well influences others in your lives?
KK: The Mason jar salad club at work was Anne's idea and others have found that it was a good jumping off point for a healthier diet in general. The biggest plus to our commitment to fitness has been that we are able to be role models to our kids and grandkids. Our 9 year old grandson ran the Shamrock 8K last year and is running it again this year.
What's your #1 piece of advice to someone who wants to make significant fitness progress?
KK: There are many varying pieces of advice we could give, and I am sure that Anne and I differ on what would be #1. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the quote on the wall at TrueFN that says, "If you have to eat a plate of frogs, eat the biggest one first." (Insert Anne rolling her eyes here). Anne says, "Be consistent. Show up and work at it, but mainly show up." My advice is simple, "Listen and follow." These apply to both the training and the nutrition as they work in concert. It was a few months before I really started to see the changes, but without the foundational work, we wouldn't see the results we have so far. Lastly, if you don't think you have the self-discipline to consistently workout by yourself, try training with a partner. The benefits go way beyond the walls of TrueFN.
Trainer Perspective - Dylan Smith
DS: I have known Anne and Kevin for years and they truly embody what it means to have a strong partnership in and out of the gym. Both coming from military backgrounds (Anne from West Point, Kevin US Navy), these two set the bar for intensity, positive mindset, and comradery. During their workouts I am always amazed at their ability to motivate and push each other to new levels of performance. Kevin frequently wears one of his favorite shirts on which "NEVER QUIT," is written in bold across the back. With just two words, "Never Quit," describes Anne and Kevin to a T. No matter the challenge, Anne and Kevin rise to the occasion and persevere. If one drops behind, the other motivates to push on. It is truly a pleasure to coach Anne and Kevin. I admire and respect them for the work they consistently put in to achieving success in their personal fitness both in the gym and with their at home workouts via Virtual Coaching.
Many individuals struggle to eat for their goals, strength train at least 3 days per week, sleep adequately, hydrate, etc on a consistent and regular basis. To achieve success, individuals must take it upon themselves to make real and lasting changes to their lifestyle and training. Anne and Kevin are proof that if you want to improve your fitness level (at any age!) it is absolutely within your control. If you wish your fitness was better than it is right now, then let me paraphrase some key points from the interview above: Show up, work hard, be consistent, never quit.
Nutrition Consultant Perspective - Jenn Stofferahn
JS: Kevin and Anne are people on the go who still make time for their fitness and for eating well. In an area of the country where EVERYone is busy, these two know what really matters, and they put their health and wellness first. They know that to be good parents, grandparents, friends, and colleagues, they have to be in good shape, so they prioritize the work involved. Adopting better nutrition is a process, not an overnight sensation, and Anne and Kevin get that. They strive to improve and are always open to learning along the way. Their competitive spirit is playful but also helps them challenge each other. They are both fun to watch and to coach, we love that they're a part of TrueFN!